A Perfect Game

Wednesday May 8, 1968
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Catfish Hunter came as close to winning a game all by himself as a player can get in the game of baseball.

Hunter faced 27 Twins, and retired each of them. He had 11 strikeouts, three of which came against Harmon Killebrew; and the Twins’ lineup only managed to hit six balls out of the infield.

Twins pitcher Dave Boswell did not allow an Oakland run until the seventh inning. With Rick Monday on third due to a double and a wild pitch, Hunter executed a bunt that he was able to beat out for a run-scoring single.

Hunter was not through, however. With the bases loaded and a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth, Catfish delivered a two-run single off of Ron Perranoski.

At the end of the night, Hunter had not only pitched a perfect game, but had knocked in three of his team’s four runs, including the game-winner. Unfortunately, only 6,298 fans were present to witness the first American League regular season perfect game since 1922. The New York Times billed it as the 10th perfect game in major league history, but is actually recognized as the ninth (the NYT was likely counting Harvey Haddix’s nine perfect innings in a game that he ended up losing in 1959).

The Twins have been on the losing end of two of the 17 perfect games in major league history.

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5 Responses to A Perfect Game

  1. Beau says:

    I remember reading somewhere as a kid that the 27th Twin to come to bat fouled off a whole bunch of pitches before finally striking out. Is this verifiable at all?

  2. Scot says:

    From the NYT:

    “Hunter completed his feat by getting a pinch-hitter, John Roseboro, to ground out in the ninth, then striking out Bruce Look and Rich Reese. The latter had fouled off five straight pitches.”

    The boxscore indicates that Reese struck out looking, a tough way to go after fouling off all of those pitches.

  3. Beau says:

    I imagine the ump would be afraid to call ball four in that instance unless it was really obvious.

  4. Scot- you should do a post detailing Torrie Hunter’s unlikely hitting streak, it’s pretty impressive because he doesn’t strike me as a hitting streak type of guy, you know?

  5. Scot says:

    Now that it’s over I might…

    If you would have told me one of the Twins would have a 20+ game hitting streak, Hunter would have been low on my list of guesses (behind at Mauer, Castillo, Morneau, probably Cuddyer and Bartlett). Still, he is a very streaky hitter, so it really isn’t that surprising in retrospect.

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